Sino-Pak agricultural resource endowments mutually complementary: Zhai Xueling
Zhai Xueling, Director of Market and Trade Research Office, Research Center for Rural Economy under Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China.
She was addressing a webinar on great potential of Sino-Pak agricultural cooperation.
“The natural resource endowments between Pakistan and China are mutually complementary, which lays a solid basis for expanding cooperation,” Zhai said.
Pakistan’s per capita arable land area and annual fresh water availability are about twice and 1.5 times separately those of China. Moreover, Pakistan’s labor force is abundant at comparably low cost.
According to Zhai, compared with China, at present, the overall development of the agriculture sector in Pakistan is relatively low, particularly lacking improved varieties and advanced technologies.
For instance, the yields of major agricultural products including grain, cotton, oil and sugar are less than 50% of China’s. In this respect, China has advantages in agricultural science and technology, mechanization and water conservancy facility construction.
From 2010 to 2019, China’s agricultural imports from Pakistan increased by 1.3 times, and China’s agricultural exports to Pakistan increased by 29% during the same period.
China mainly exports vegetables, nuts, grains and oilseeds to Pakistan and imports rice, aquatic products, drinks and livestock products from Pakistan. It’s noted that China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Phase II will give new impetus to the bilateral agricultural trade.
In the medium and long term, Pakistan’s overall economic environment is improving with great development potential, and investment policies and regulations are being increasingly perfected.
“The future cooperation between China and Pakistan in agricultural science and technology, agricultural products processing, agricultural products trade and agricultural infrastructure construction is promising,” Zhai said.
The webinar on China-Pakistan Agricultural Cooperation and Prospects was held by China Economic Net, in collaboration with the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPDS) amunder the guidance of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and the Pakistani Embassy in China.
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